Settle in for at least an hour's worth of catch-up. James and Dean compare work routines and describe what a daily schedule looks like for them. They share how they're each dealing with change, and what they plan for the future.
In the podcast:
01:22 – That’s just what I was thinking…
09:46 – A look into Dean and James’s daily and weekly work schedules
22:19 – How James’s business portfolio has been adapting to change
38:17 – A profitable education in investment
42:18 – Plugging into Cloudlandia and loving it
48:32 – Is investor status the next model to aim for?
57:09 – The Work Less Make More book funnel, four years since writing
1:06:19 – It’s not the end of the conversation
It’s been a yearly custom for Dean Jackson to spend two weeks in Manly, catching up with James. Last year, of course, that wasn’t possible, and the two missed their yearly podcast episode, usually recorded in one of their hangouts.
Their fans missed it, too, so like many other things these days, James and Dean have taken their meetup virtual, with this resulting episode.
That’s just what I was thinking…
A positive Groundhog Day, is how James describes life since they last got together. Just the word Dean’s been using.
They often arrive at the same idea independently, James observes. He recalls a presentation of his years earlier on what he called the BDA method – Before, During and After. Later, Dean popularized much the same idea, which he’d been using, too. James deleted his domain and abandoned developing the concept, because, he says, Dean as usual had a better version.
Dean likes the “one layer back”, though. He’s even two layers back, he says. James agrees. And the highest level, he says, the investor level, would be where you own the thing but do virtually nothing in it.
It’s a concept, says Dean, from Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant – on the left side is the employee and the self-employed. Across from thm is the business owner, who owns the business, but is still involved in it. And in the final quadrant is the investor, who is financially involved but not doing any of the activities of the business.
“In every negative, there are amazing pockets of joy if you look for them.”
Going back to the Groundhog Day idea, James says the thing he loves repeating most these days is his daily surf. Without the interruptions of travel, he’s reached a whole new level of competency, going out in eight, nine, 10-foot waves, and riding longer and faster. He’s got his equipment down to his top four boards. And an amazing thing: his lower back pain has disappeared, and his neck mobility is the best it’s ever been.
It goes to show, says James, in every negative, there’s amazing pockets of joy if you look for them.
“One of the great joys of being an entrepreneur is being in complete control of your schedule.”
A look into Dean and James’s daily and weekly work schedules
The world situation in fact, says Dean, has give them the opportunity to create their ideal Groundhog day. It’s one of the great joys of being an entrepreneur, being in complete control of your schedule.
For his part, Dean has cleared every morning so that he has nothing on his calendar before 1pm. Then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from one o’clock till six o’clock, he fits in everything that he has to do so that it’s synchronous and scheduled.
The schedule has been great for Dean, because he loves to have the mornings for thinking and journaling and brainstorming and outlining and doing all the things that he needs or wants to do. He finds there’s a high cost of switching if you’re trying to spread out appointments throughout the day.
When James went from being employed and managing rosters to having his own business, he thought at first he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. What he didn’t understand then was how much routine and discipline actually set you free.
He had an epiphany in a small coffee shop in Manly. Sitting, drinking coffee, he noticed the floorboards down the middle of the shop were worn, whereas, where he sat with his coffee, it was brand new varnish. He realized the delineation between the high-traffic area and the “comfort zone” to the sides. In the same way, having time “on” automatically created time “off”, and if you tried to mix the two it would just be a mess.
James’s schedule now is similar to Dean’s, taking Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off from any scheduled calls. One Tuesdays he takes one call at 9am, another at 6pm, and a last one at 8:00. The rest of the day he can surf, sleep, eat, watch, travel, whatever. Then he does a couple of calls on Wednesday morning, sometimes Wednesday afternoon, but generally not at all.
On Thursday mornings he has two or three calls, going from nine till maybe 11. Then he has one recurring call at two o’clock, which is a high-value client, followed by a 2:30 team meeting. After that, he’s off till 9am the next Tuesday.
James does other work, like answering forum posts every day. But he does it in his own time. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, it’s typical for him to not log in until about 10 o’clock at night, when he might do 30 minutes of work.
How James’s portfolio has been adapting to change
What does James’s business portfolio look like now? asks Dean.
There’s been significant change, says James.
Having been through recessions before, he’d built his business to be as robust as possible – he’s paid by multiple people in different markets and so forth. But what he did want to do was create a safety net for people who were going to be reactive and start cutting costs.
So he created two new businesses in April or May. He created a new brand, SuperFastResults, a reactivation of his original forum. There he had set up a $10 per month subscription where people can ask questions and get an answer from a qualified source. It’s basically like a private Facebook wall, built on 10XPRO, where people can post a question and get answered.
It’s become a great front door where people can experience his service for the first time. Several have gone on from there to SuperFastBusiness. At the same time, it’s a sort of soft landing for the SuperFastBusiness customer who wants to exit. Why not come to SuperFastResults and still get your questions answered? And it’s just 10 bucks a month till they’re ready to come back.
Then, too, SuperFastResults became a kind of private Udemy type site with multiple one-time products for sale. Courses like James’s LifeSheet System, How to Sell on the Phone, an autoresponder cart abandonment sequence, and so on.
Also on the site is a free 30-day,Work Less Make More in 30 Day Challenge. Every day for 30 days, James sends one tip on how you can work less or make more. By the end of 30 days, you’ll have improved your effective hourly rate.
To feed the new website, James has started Facebook ads for the first time in ages, and now has small campaigns feeding the Work Less Make More funnel.
Then James looked at his revenue share deals, of which he has 11. He dropped two of them that didn’t have the follow-through on his input to succeed. If you can’t get an idea into motion, he says, it’s not going to work. He then took the top four and found that together, they pay him more than SuperFastBusiness earns. The top deal, he found, pays about half as much as all of SuperFastBusiness.
So in September or October, James turned off SilverCircle coaching for new customers (not that he couldn’t get customers). When he did that, he freed up about five hours a week, knowing that he could spend an hour with a rev share partner and make multiples of the $3000 monthly that a SilverCircle customer would pay.
At the same time, James had a group call that he no longer needed for SilverCircle members – most of them had switched to one-on-one. He decided to give it to his SuperFastBusiness Intensive members, who were paying $599 as opposed to the $99 paid by Standard customers. It served as an additional point of differentiation, and resulted in Intensive members staying longer. Only one person left since the introduction of the weekly call.
An added benefit is that James now works 15 hours a week instead of 20. His income, profit and enjoyment have all gone up, and his list is growing. They still do two podcasts a week, and one social media video per day, with now a dribble of Facebook ads.
What James would like, eventually, is to have rev shares do so well that he can sell SuperFastBusiness. But for now, while it is the most work, it’s also very rewarding.
A profitable education in investment
During the craziness in the world, James also took the opportunity to teach himself more about investing. It was sort of the unwritten chapter – Can I make my money make more than I can myself? And he’s done okay with it, he reports, having had from last April to now a huge education in different investing methods.
“Can I make my money make more than I can myself?”
Tesla or Bitcoin? asks Dean. Definitely Bitcoin, says James.
He started making some investments in April when all the big banks dipped in Australia, and it’s pretty much doubled.
“It’s a good year when you can double your cash reserves.”
Also, because James collects in US dollars and lives in Australia, he has opportunities to decide which currency he wants to keep that money in. And by just switching currencies, you can have a massive transfer difference on a large sum.
Property in AU has gone up about 30 percent, or 17 to 30 percent, depending on which suburbs. People are sick of living in a house. They’ve been at home for a year, and they want to move.
More people are getting divorced. It’s an interesting time.
James’s little family unit is doing well, however. And his customers, most of whom are online, have done well too, businesswise, by subscribing to James’s mantra of Own The Racecourse.
Plugging into Cloudlandia and loving it
Dean, in the meantime, has been adapting well. When European travel was cut off last March and he had an event in two weeks’ time, he set about getting his Zoom studio built in his house and prepared to take the whole thing online.
It was a wonderful, delightful thing, he says. He had people from Brussels to California, to Bangkok and London, all in the same Zoom boardroom.
He now does two different events. He does his Breakthrough Blueprint event, which is one that he’d done live everywhere. He does it over two days now. Plus, people get a 90-minute one-on-one card that they can use after the event to get clarity, have questions answered, check in, whatever they need help on.
Dean also does a lead conversion workshop, where they just focus on from the opt-in forward, from the opt-in to the shopping cart. They do that over three separate Tuesday afternoon sessions. It goes for three hours, from three o’clock to six o’clock for three Tuesdays spaced out with a week in between. That format, he says, has been wonderful, because they can take action and get results in between the sessions.
Dean is really enjoying the Zoom events. They’ve been a big shift for him. And of course, he’s spoken at a lot of events that way, too. It allows him to participate.
James recalls a conversation they had once. “Plug me into Cloudlandia,” Dean had said.
It reminds James of his current training strategy for SuperFastBusiness. For his monthly training calls, he now gets experts in the industry to present with him. It’s like SuperFastBusiness Live, but spaced out over a year. It’s high-grade content that is easier for the audience to consume.
And would Dean consider delivering a training with him? Let’s do that, says Dean.
Is investor status the next model to aim for?
Dean was thinking, just as James described that, that James could perhaps do something like a Netflix or a Spotify, where he could curate the best leading training in whatever needs to be trained, and have an investor position in that, by just buying content.
It’s something James considers, seeing as how he’s built businesses that don’t have his name on them. There’s potential in SuperFastResults. Rev shares have been the fastest way to access something similar, as he’s nowhere near the front of brand on any of them.
James could be the curator of the content for SuperFastBusiness, says Dean. He thinks it’s a great opportunity.
At the same time, James thinks we’re in the era where it probably pays to build some influence or authority around your personal brand, even if you lend it to your other brand. With a couple of books coming out, he needs a place to be the home, the masthead. And he wants those books to feed the businesses. So he’s activated one of his other domains that he’s been sitting on for a long time, called James.co.
The Work Less Make More book funnel, four years since writing
Dean is curious: how long has Work Less Make More been out in the world now? Going on four years now, it turns out. It’s been a great little performer, still selling and still, in some cases, converting. It’s paid for itself and more, says James, giving him fantastic opportunities to speak on shows and podcasts and be invited to events.
And the book articulates what it is James actually does. As Dean would say, how can you help someone get a result in advance of them paying you a single cent? And James thinks for most of his audience, they would like to make more money and work less.
Amazon have been doing a good job of promoting the book, and James has run some Amazon ads to sell even more of it. It’s also collected a lot of good reviews. It was important to him that people actually liked the book. And he wanted a good book.
James now has another couple of books in the pipeline – one written with Kelly Exeter, and another based on his course on profitable memberships.
It’s not the end of the conversation
They haven’t spoken a lot about Dean, James realizes, and it concerns him somewhat. They both got lost in the conversation, says Dean, as it hits him what time it is.
Should they come back and do the next episode on Dean’s changes? offers James.
Yeah, they could do that.
So look forward to Part Eight of James and Dean’s 25-Part series, where Dean will get his ample share of the spotlight.
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